An open letter to Lisa Simpson: Could you please become real so you can be our president? I know you'll forever be an eight-year-old girl, wise beyond her years. But technically, you've been around since 1989, so only a few more years until you're eligible to run! Since your inception, you've been an inspiration to women everywhere. We fell in love with your beautiful mind and kind soul. Surrounded by chaos, you stay true to your convitions, unafraid to question authority. You taught us that true confidence comes from believing in your own abilities to handle challenges as opposed to relying on external validation. So, in your honor, here are 19 moments of you making us all feel a little less alone.
When Springfield Elementary forces the kids to take career aptitude tests, Lisa is told she is best suited to be a homemaker. While there’s nothing wrong with the occupation (I mean, it’s Marge who’s keeping this family together, after all), Lisa knows deep down what she wants, and she spends the rest of the episode determined to live her dreams. Here, Lisa proves that living the life you want takes courage. People will disapprove and discourage, but you’re entitled to shine and make big plans and have as many torrid love affairs as you please.
In arguably one of Lisa’s most feminist adventures, she challenges the makers of Malibu Stacy to create a talking doll that isn’t sexist. And she succeeds, creating Lisa Lionheart, voiced by herself! Both a businesswoman and an activist, Lisa knows women deserve better, and when her needs aren’t met, she’s not afraid takes matters into her own hands.
It’s important to have a rich interior life. Like Lisa, you contain multitudes. Take some time for yourself. You work hard. You’re allowed to enjoy things.
Lisa may be a lover of music, justice, animals, shapes and feelings, but don’t underestimate her. Moral of the story? Never mistake kindness for weakness.
I. FEEL. SO. SEEN. If school sports were also hell for you, you know what I mean. Lisa is failing gym class, and if she wants to pass, she needs to join a sports program outside of school. Like me, she’s not happy about it. Unlike me, she ends up being pretty amazing at ice hockey.
As women, we’re conditioned to believe that we should be compliant, so speaking up and asking for what you need can be daunting. Lisa knows her education is too important to settle for a lackluster curriculum. She demands to be heard and challenged, so she joins Bart at military school because "magazine time" just isn't cutting it.>
When she’s crowned "Little Miss Springfield," Lisa refuses to let her image be used for corporate gains. So she uses her newfound fame and platform to speak about issues important to her like funding for education and the arts. We gotta value our voices and feel like they count, no matter how many followers we have.
Because they're scared of confident, powerful women. Remember, WITCH = Woman In Total Control of Herself.
In this episode, Lisa’s entrepreneurial skills kick in and she decides to take up babysitting. At first, no one takes her seriously because of her age. But nevertheless, she persists and builds up a steady roster of clients. Bart gets jealous and belittles her work, but Lisa claps back with this amazing response. No job is too big or too small for Lisa. And she can negotiate a salary, too.
Lisa knows that society and culture are always changing, therefore lawmaking policies should reflect that.
While Lisa worries that her education is not challenging enough, Bart is sent to military school for his bad behavior. Upon seeing that the military school is more difficult than Springfield Elementary, Lisa decides she wants to go and becomes its first female student (yayy congrats!). Military school proves to be more challenging than Lisa thought. Feeling lonely and homesick, Lisa considers going home but finds her inner strength and determines to stick it out. We’ve all had moments where we feel like we don’t belong. We’ve all had moments where we feel like giving up. But the most important thing is how we talk to ourselves in these situations. Lisa doesn’t let the opinions of others determine her capabilities, and she wouldn’t want you to either.
Another great example of Lisa using her voice and challenging Springfield's status quo. Fed up with Springfield’s lack of culture and sophistication, she writes an open letter that ends up in the newspaper. The Springfield chapter of Mensa is impressed and invites her to join. She also gets to meet Stephen Hawking.
Lisa vocalizes her issues with her mother's new career and the prison system at large and Marge, at a loss for words, desperately attempts to distract her with a puppet. A classic element of Simpsons comedy in which Lisa's accute honesty makes others uncomfortable with their blissful ignorance.
When Selma and Patty trash Homer, Lisa stands up for her dad. While Homer isn’t the perfect "model of manhood," we don’t get to choose our family. Lisa won’t accept that kind of negativity into her life.
Always asking the important questions.
Never apologize for having dreams. Never apologize for wanting things. People’s discouragement is useless, so don't use it. Don't let that bullshit inside your beautiful mind. It has no bearing on your life. Have your goals. Work at them day by day. Negativity is noise. Change the station.
A perfect, modern, feminist utopia. Come work at BUST, Lisa!!
Lisa may be a feminist icon, but that doesn't mean she's free of any doubts or insecurities. Lisa's relatability undoubtedly makes us feel close to her. We grew up watching Lisa deal with a chaotic family life. We saw her cope with feeling misunderstood, underestimated, alone and anxious for her future. We saw her going after what she wanted and what she believed was right despite her vulnerabilities. We saw Lisa in ourselves.
Header photo via FOX
Other photos created by author via imgflip.com
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Hi there! I’m a comedian, writer and actress living in New York City. I’m the only person to have a subscription to Nickelodeon Magazine without access to the Nickelodeon channel. My favorite movie is George Of The Jungle. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @stonecoldvolpe and check out my website francescavolpe.com for more of my writing and silly videos!